The trial of Mohammed Nisar Khan, better known in West Yorkshire’s criminal underworld as ‘Meggy’, was one of the most high-profile to take place in Bradford in recent years.

For six weeks, armed police outside Bradford Crown Court became a daily sight and avoiding the police convoy bringing the notorious gangster into the city from HMP Wakefield, sirens blaring, became a factor of the daily commute.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

The Telegraph & Argus covered the whole trial live in a courtroom blog that attracted more than a million pageviews.

The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Jonathan Durham Hall, came under pressure to allow the case to be heard elsewhere due to Meggy's local profile - although "I had never heard of you," he told the defendant as he sentenced him to life imprisonment for the murder of Amriz Iqbal.

The court never heard any history between the two men or any reason why Khan might want Mr Iqbal dead.

Nevertheless, said Judge Durham Hall, "For some reason best known to you and your group there was a problem to be resolved - and with violence."

And so, on October 3 2018, Khan, along with trusted lieutenant Tony Grant and four other men, set off in a silver Kia Sedona - a nondescript people carrier chosen for its high capacity and low profile - on a slow sweep of the area around Sandford Road where Mr Iqbal, who had just returned to Bradford after a spell in Dubai, lived.

They were "hunting" for Mr Iqbal with the intent to "deal with him severely but not kill him", surmised the judge.

"You don't need that number of men to have a chat. Nor do you need masks, and a bat or bar," he remarked.

"You do not go hunting for somebody with that degree of support, backup and muscle without a very serious intent indeed," the judge added.

They found Mr Iqbal, along with a second man Adnan Ahmed, on Sandford Road.

As the car closed in on its prey, Mr Iqbal and Mr Ahmed crossed the road in front of it. Meggy Khan, at the wheel of the Kia, accelerated sharply and swerved the car into the two men.

"You seized, without hesitation, ruthlessly, the opportunity to knock those men down," said Judge Durham Hall.

The court was repeatedly shown CCTV footage of the moment of impact, and what followed as the Kia reversed back to the scene and its passengers got out to check on Mr Iqbal's prone form. One beat him on the back of the legs with a blunt object before they sped away again. 

It was "a barbaric event, violently and brutally executed in broad daylight," the judge concluded.

Mr Iqbal died from a traumatic head injury. Mr Ahmed survived.

It was a second piece of CCTV footage that proved the pivotal piece of evidence.

Taken at the Whitehall Service Station in Birkenshaw shortly before the murder, it was key to proving that Mohammed Nisar Khan was at the wheel of the Kia Sedona that day.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

So desperate were Khan and Grant to get rid of this evidence that they plotted to have two masked youths steal the CCTV footage in a robbery of the petrol station kiosk - and when that failed, Salman Ismail was recruited to set fire to it.

"Can you imagine a more ruthless and potentially lethal arson than firebombing the kiosk at a petrol station, a car's length from the petrol pumps?" said Judge Durham Hall.

Khan and Grant were convicted of murdering Amriz Iqbal and Khan was also found guilty of the attempted murder of Adnan Ahmed. Both were convicted, alng with Ismail, of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, and Ismail was also convicted of arson.

'Meggy' Khan is now serving a life sentence with a minimum term of 26 years. Tony Grant is serving life with a minimum of 17 years and Salman Ismail is serving a 17 year sentence.